You should stop using customization apps on Windows 11 – here’s why.

Microsoft to include tougher restrictions to prevent you from using third-party customization programs on Windows 11.

Windows 11 24H2 setup blocked
Windows 11 24H2 setup blocked / Image: Mauro Huculak
  • Microsoft is blocking users from upgrading to Windows 11 24H2 using third-party customization apps. 
  • The reason is that these apps can cause security and performance issues.
  • Some of them include StartAllBack and ExplorerPatcher, but the setup blocks even more apps.

Although Microsoft is known for blocking users from upgrading to a new version of Windows due to conflicting apps, the company is getting more aggressive with the release of Windows 11 24H2, especially with apps designed to modify the appearance of the desktop.

Some users have been reporting that the latest preview of Windows 11 24H2 won’t let them upgrade their devices if the system has some of the popular third-party, such as the StartAllBack that tweaks the Start menu and other parts of the operating system and ExplorerPatcher, which changes the Taskbar and Start menu appearance but also allows users to move the Taskbar to the top of the screen.

I installed the “ExplorerPatcher” on a virtual machine running Windows 11 23H2 and launched the version 24H2 setup from a mounted ISO file, which resulted in the “What needs your attention” message that blocks the upgrade because, according to Microsoft, it causes security and performance issues.

Windows 11 Setup blocked error
Windows 11 Setup blocked error / Image: Mauro Huculak

On another virtual machine already running Windows 11 24H2, trying to install “ExplorerPatcher” resulted in the “This app can’t run on this device” message for the same reason.

Windows 11 app install blocked message
Windows 11 app install blocked message / Image: Mauro Huculak

So, the software giant isn’t only trying to block the upgrade but also blocking apps from manipulating the system’s behavior.

You should avoid third-party tweakers

Although you should be able to install any application in the operating system without restrictions, I don’t believe the company is trying to prevent you from changing the system’s behavior. Instead, it’s trying to protect the operating system’s integrity and performance.

The reason is that sometimes third-party apps may try to replace system files with older or manipulated versions that can cause security and performance issues. Furthermore, because of the changes these apps make to the system, they can also conflict with the upgrade, causing the installation to fail.

Also, these apps usually do not follow the company’s guidelines and don’t even include a digital signature or certificate to ensure their legitimacy.

Now, there’s the case of the “Start11” app, which isn’t blocked, and you can set it up before or after the upgrade to Windows 11 24H2. The difference here is perhaps how the application makes the system changes, and it’s a solution that has been digitally signed and probably follows the guidelines to be a Windows application.

If you plan to upgrade to version 24H2, you’re getting the error message. The solution is simple. You only need to uninstall the conflicting application and then restart the setup.

Depending on the app, you may or may not be able to reinstall it after the upgrade. ExplorerPatcher is known to cause problems on Windows 11, and usually, the developer releases updates to get around the issues.

You should avoid using these apps whenever possible. Although I understand that these solutions can restore some of the operating system’s legacy functionalities, such as the ability to move the Taskbar to the top of the screen or enable the legacy context menu, you should avoid them as much as possible if you want a smoother experience without performance issues.

Other apps getting blocked by version 24H2

In addition to these, the StartAllback and ExplorerPatcher, it has been discovered that the Windows 11 Setup also checks for other apps. If one of these apps is found, the process stops, and you won’t be able to upgrade to the Windows 11 2024 Update.

  • ConisioAdmin.exe (Solidworks PDM)
  • EaseUS Disk Copy.exe
  • ep_dwm.exe (ExplorerPatcher) (since 22H2)
  • iCloudServices.exe (since 23H2)
  • AMD RadeonSoftware.exe
  • StartAllBackCfg.exe
  • Multi-mon + Copilot
  • MergeSdb
  • Intel IntcOED.sys
  • Intel IntcAudioBus.sys
  • Realtek 8192su Wireless USB 2.0 Adapter

If, for some reason, you depend on these applications, you can remove them before installing the new version of the operating system and then try to reinstall them.

Do you use customization or other tweaking apps on Windows 11? Let me know which ones and the reason in the comments.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].